Rosanne Cash to Speak at Congressional Hearing On Music Licensing

photo courtesy Blue Note Records

Singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, June 25, in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Americana Music Association and songwriters everywhere.

The issue at hand is music licensing, digital use rights and fair compensation for people who make music. Rosanne let her Twitter followers know about her appearance on Monday, June 23, jokingly signing off with the hashtag “#MrsLGoesToCongress”—a nod to her husband, producer John Leventhal. Rosanne will be accompanied to the hearings by the Americana Music Association’s executive director, Jed Hilly.

“I am honored to have been asked by the Americana Music Association to represent musicians, songwriters and recording artists in these hearings,” said Rosanne in a statement. “As a singer/songwriter who has been in the music business for 35 years, I look forward to sharing with Washington leaders some of the deep concerns all musicians share in the new digital economy. Creative people deserve fair compensation when their work is used by others.”

In her remarks, Rosanne will focus on the issues of revenues for streaming music, a sound recording performance license for artists, an update of rates paid to songwriters and protection on streaming sites for recordings that pre-date 1972.

Rosanne is also expected to mention her father, Johnny, who made an appearance before the same committee in 1997 when Internet downloading was still new.

“What an innocent time that was. Isolated illegal websites have morphed into a multinational juggernaut that threatens to decimate the livelihoods of all musicians, songwriters and performers,” she says. “There is a team at my record label devoted to issuing takedown notices to pirate sites. It is an absolutely futile gesture.”

Rosanne is currently nominated in three categories at the 2014 Americana Honors & Awards on Sept. 17, thanks to the success of her 2013 album, The River and the Thread.


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